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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 23 July 2024

Former militants of Kamtapur Liberation Organisation seek Didi

Last week, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, tasked by the BJP to look after the party’s growth in the Northeast, broached the KLO issue with a tweet

Main Uddin Chisti Cooch Behar Published 07.12.21, 12:43 AM
Former militants of the KLO Anowar Hossain (left) and Pulastya Barman in Cooch Behar on Monday.

Former militants of the KLO Anowar Hossain (left) and Pulastya Barman in Cooch Behar on Monday. Main Uddin Chisti

A group of former militants of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation met a senior Trinamul leader here on Monday and requested him to approach chief minister Mamata Banerjee so that the Bengal government could initiate a move to bring back Jeevan Singha, the self-styled chief of the banned terror outfit, into the mainstream.

The BJP-led government in Assam has already initiated a similar process and any delay on the part of the Bengal government can help the saffron camp earn an extra edge over Trinamul, former militants Pulastya Barman and Anowar Hossain told Trinamul leader Partha Pratim Roy.

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“We told him (Roy) that he should request Mamata Banerjee to take some initiative so that the Assam government and the central government can’t make any decision with regard to the statehood demand that the KLO has been raising for years. The chief minister of Assam has claimed that the peace process has been initiated but we believe that it can’t be done without involving Bengal,” said Pulastya.

The former militants of the KLO also said they wanted to meet Mamata, under whose tenure hundreds of former militants and linkmen of the outfit were rehabilitated and provided jobs of home guards, and speak on the issue.

“We have full faith in the chief minister and feel that if the Bengal government stays silent now, it would be tough to stop the BJP from playing politics over the issue. A number of leaders of the BJP have already advocated in favour of a separate state and we suspect they are now trying to play the card again, this time on the pretext of the so-called peace process,” Hossain, who had been a trained militant with the KLO, said.

A few days back, Assam chief minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma took to twitter to say that the KLO militants have expressed willingness to join the mainstream and his government will take all steps to facilitate the process.

Biswa Sarma, tasked by the BJP to look after the party’s growth in the Northeast, broached the KLO issue with this tweet last week: “In continuation with (the) Govt of India’s efforts to bring lasting peace in the region, I welcome the desire of KLO leadership to join mainstream at an early date to resolve all issues through political dialogues. (The) Govt of Assam would fully reciprocate this goodwill measure. @ Amit Shah”

Former MP Roy, who is also the chairman of North Bengal State Transport Corporation, confirmed that former militants met him.

“All I can say is that our party is principally against any further partition of Bengal. The chief minister has done a lot for the Rajbanshi community. As far as this issue is concerned (bringing Singha to the mainstream and joining in peace talks), it is beyond my purview and I cannot comment on it,” he said.

Sources in the state government however, said they were keeping close watch over the developments in Assam. Singha, they said, is wanted in Bengal in a number of cases. Last year, charges under the UAPA were clamped against him for his remarks against the chief minister and the state and central governments.

“It is evident that the state government will not accept any proposal that affects the interest of Bengal. We are closely monitoring the developments in the neighbouring state (Assa) and also gathering information (on the KLO issue) from various sources,” said a source.

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